useful oil

Gone are the days when fats were the enemy number one for health and a good figure. Scientists came to the conclusion that it is impossible to exclude fats from food. Fats are involved in:

  • production of hormones,
  • cell regeneration,
  • vitamins assimilation,
  • are important for the health of the skin and hair.

The percentage of fat in the diet can amount to 10 % to 30%. We can get them with products (animal and vegetable), as well as with oils and supplements.

TYPES OF FATS

By the origin, fats are plant and animal.
By structure, fats are saturated and unsaturated.

*We need both, yet vegetable unsaturated fats must predominate in the menu.

Saturated fats are found in some products of plant origin (coconut pulp) and mostly (99%) in products of animal origin, including:

  • lard,
  • milk and its derivatives,
  • meat,
  • eggs.

Unsaturated fats are for the most part of plant origin (nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and so on). Yet, you can also get them in foods of animal origin, like fish and seafood.

FATS TO AVOID

Fats that should be avoided are trans fats, and they are man-made. In the process of hydrogenation or long/high temperature processing, saturated and unsaturated fats can be converted to trans fats.

Our body is not capable of processing them and has difficulties with their excretion. They can provoke inflammatory processes and oncology.

They are found in:

  • almost all fast-food products (chips, crackers, bread, snacks),
  • factory-made cookies,
  • sweets,
  • mayonnaise,
  • margarine.

OIL AND BUTTER

Butter can be obtained from an animal product (creamy) and oil is produced from plants (olive, coconut, sunflower, walnut oil, avocado oil, corn, etc.).

The usefulness of vegetable oil depends on:

  • its composition,
  • the ratio of fats and acids,
  • the production method,
  • the purifying method,
  • the way you use it.

PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLE OIL

Cold press – oil is squeezed out of raw materials with a press. This is the first and it’s the last cold press. Therefore, look for the inscription on the label – “first cold press” or simply “cold press”. There is no such thing as second cold pressing.

After the first press, the cake still contains a lot of oil, which can be extracted only in a chemical way – by extraction with solvents. Needless to say that it is better to give preference to the first kind of oil?

VEGETABLE OIL

PURIFYING OF VEGETABLE OIL

Vegetable oils are refined and unrefined.

Refining (purifying) is the removal of all impurities (both good and bad) from the oil, performed to leave pure fat in it. Tasks that refining aims:

  • make oil tasteless
  • get rid of smoke and foam appearance during cooking of hot dishes

For frying, use refined cold press vegetable oil.

What is virgin oil? This definition refers to olive oil (but is now used for coconut oil, as well). Olive oil has its own classification system and corresponding names. In short, Virgin is a cold press unpurified (unrefined) oil.

RAW MATERIALS FOR VEGETABLE OIL

Vegetable oil is produced of:

  • olives,
  • nuts,
  • seeds,
  • avocados,
  • cereals.

Corn, mustard and rapeseed oil (aka canola oil) are types of oils that are best avoided. These are new types of oils, the production of which was initiated relatively recently. Initially, they were positioned as a useful alternative to saturated fats, yet it was later discovered that they cause side effects – damage to the body’s cells from free radicals.

Being cheap, these are often used in the production of cookies, sweets, crackers, and crispbreads.

seeds for oil

Palm oil requires a separate discussion. Natural palm oil is useful! It is liquid, transparent, similar to olive oil, yet more reddish, with a short shelf life. It is used to make a long-term storage product, obtained through hydrogenation. This product is also called palm oil, even though it is margarine.

USEFUL OILS

When it comes to the usefulness of oil, the ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is taken into account. Modern people’s nutrition is characterized by an excess of Omega 6, with a lack of Omega 3. Therefore, when it comes to oils, we are interested in the proportion of these acids.

More useful oils:

  • olive (the proportion of Omega 3 and 6 depends on the quality of the raw materials),
  • coconut oil.

Less useful oils:

  • sunflower,
  • cottonseed,
  • soybean.

WHICH OIL TO USE FOR COOKING

You can use fats for cooking, yet you need not forget about the following:

  1. the amount of fat in the diet must be controlled
  2. not every oil is useful
  3. not every oil is suitable for frying
  4. the faster the frying process and the lower the temperature, the better

WHY DO THEY SAY THAT YOU CAN NOT COOK WITH OIL?

  • Oil is high in calories and its excessive amounts in your menu can lead to weight gain.
  • Those who have problems with the fats assimilation (gallbladder and pancreas diseases) are contraindicated to consume food with a large amount of fats.
  • Heating of some oils can lead to alteration of their structure and the formation of combustion products.

The boiling point is the temperature at which oil starts to burn and dangerous free radicals are formed, which are harmful to our body and provoke a number of diseases. Do not allow smoke formation and combustion products appearance.

Oils with a predominance of saturated fats are more resistant to high temperatures. These include:

  • coconut oil,
  • high quality palm oil,
  • butter.

High boiling point temperature is also characteristic for:

  • refined olive oil,
  • sesame oil,
  • grape seed oil.

When dining out, choose soups, salads, steamed or grilled dishes that are cooked without oil.

SUMMARY

  1. Give preference to vegetable oils, and among them to cold press oils
  2. When cooking, use refined oils, like coconut, olive oil, grape seed and butter
  3. To dress your salads and add flavor to ready-made hot dishes, use unrefined oils of various seeds and nuts (cedar, walnut, sesame, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
  4. For preventive purposes, use oils with a high content of Omega 3 (linseed, hemp), as well as rich in vitamins – cedar, sesame
  5. Avoid: rapeseed oil (canola), corn, sunflower (due to the ratio of Omega 3 and 6), all margarines, including palm margarine.